Nigerian soldiers withdraw after surrounding Shi’a gathering

soldiers

Nigerian soldiers and police have withdrawn from their positions at Zango Road, Kaduna, where they surrounded a gathering of Shi’a Muslims on Tuesday, days after the government outlawed the group.

Shi’a members who were trapped inside a compound have also dispersed, a witness told PREMIUM TIMES late Tuesday.

He said there were no clashes, and no one was arrested.

“Everywhere is calm now. The security people ensured there was no trouble,” a witness said.

Worshippers had gathered to commemorate historical events associated with the Islamic month of Muharram that are particularly significant in the Shia calendar, UK-based Islamic Human Rights Commission, said earlier Tuesday in a statement.

“Shortly before the Kaduna Markaz mosque on Zango Road was encircled by armoured military vehicles carrying heavily armed soldiers and also an ambulance were among a convoy of 18 military vehicles seen nearby,” the group said.

It called on the Nigerian government to withdraw the soldiers and allow the worshippers to continue to exercise their constitutional right to freedom of assembly and worship.

A witness told PREMIUM TIMES that the standoff was at the residence of a senior Shi’a leader, Muhtar Sahabi, and not a Mosque.

He said dozens of armed soldiers and mobile police officers surrounded the compound and were waiting for those gathered inside to leave.

He said some women and children who started coming out were sent back by the soldiers.

The confrontation followed a spate of arrests over recent days of members of the Shi’a sect, the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, after a state-wide ban on Friday, proscribing membership of the movement.

Our Source at the scene said the situation became tense when a helicopter hovered around the area.

He said soldiers and the anti-riot police withdrew shortly after.

“Members of the Shi’a group also came out of the compound in groups of fours and fives,” the source said.

Routine police patrol and checkpoints around the area however remained in place, he added.

The police spokesperson, Abubakar Zubairu, said Kaduna was calm.

Another official said security was stepped amid concerns that Shiites would hold their annual “Ashura” procession on Tuesday.

Three senior members of the group told PREMIUM TIMES that the procession would go ahead as planned on Wednesday.

Asked of the security implication, one leader said: “We will do our procession. The worst they can do is to kill people”.

The military activity around the area earlier on Tuesday was reminiscent of the run-up to the massacre last December of hundreds of supporters of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria by the army and the arrest of its leader Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky.

Mr. Zakzaky remains in government custody.


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  • vagabonds in power

    DSS YET AGAIN CAUGHT PANTS DOWN AS JUSTICE LIMAN SPEAKS. THIS LYING GOVERNMENT HAS NO INTEGRITY

    .

    I believe most of the members heard or read about the reported raid in PortHarcourt and my name has been mentioned as the judge in whose house $2m dollars was stashed. Since yesterday this story has been on the headlines and captions on most social media platforms. The truth is that all that you’ve read is more of misinformation and disinformation; substantially untrue account.

    The truth is that we live as neighbors to the DSS,their address is 35 and mine is 33.That night the DSS came to house 34 where they wanted to search but they were refused entry and later Gov. Wike was said to have come and engaged the security outfit in a near physical struggle,as the report suggested.

    I wouldn’t have known of the incidence if my neighbor in house 34 had not called me to inform me of the presence of strange people at her gate .All this while the melee lasted to around 4:00a.m.,I was in my house monitoring the events, and remained indoors until later in the day when I felt it was no longer safe for me to continue to remain.

    However I feel distressed that the DSS indirectly claimed they have evidence I stashed $2m, and when contacted I employed thugs and with Governor Wike to obstruct them from carrying out the search and that I later transferred the money to an unknown place.I do not think I need to refute this allegation because it would only make sense if they had actually targeted my house for the search.The truth is that due to their incompetence they bungled the operation and are desperately searching for alibi to save their heads.Unfortunately I have found myself in the middle of a dirty politics between Wike and the Federal Government and perhaps my notoriety for delivering controversial judgements; because the cases are also controversial and the stakes probably very high.

    • YOMBO

      Vagabond caught sense-down as he equally claims DSS were meant to search the houses behind those of the arrested corrupt justices, but they ended up finding themselves in the homes of those justices when they couldn’t find anything in those other houses. From the information gathered from Vagabond, those are only the judges that Nigeria has in the bench. So, no other justices left again in Nigeria. Judiciary is truly under siege in Vagabond’s own Nigeria. It is expected that a vagabond can never have any sense of reasoning since he’s paid not to think but write for Looters and Co.

  • Burning Spear

    We warned the Yorubas in the south west not to use the CIA to impose Buhari on Nigerians-But they refused to heed our pleas-to them from the South south—Aware those Bingo Buhari dumped in his Gulag-some 30 years ago, were UPN governors-from the South-West-Yet the Yorubas relied on the head of the CIA in Nigeria–Chief Obj-to force Bingo Buhari on us————————-A complete disgrace to all the ideals that democracy stands for-Refusing to tolerate the religious views of others–Killing Shiite Muslims——Ibos and Beroms ati Tivs in North Central is now his pastime——————A retired Fulani Army General from Mali– who does not even understand what democracy stands for in the civilized societies of the world———Bingo Buhari is only used to–taking orders on parade grounds—and helping the Fulani Boko haram fighters from Mali– assassinate Nigerians–at night——I mean these are roles that do not require any hard thinking—-See why he has been failing-on all the socio–economic fronts–Bingo Buhari is also aware—of the fact that Nigerians never voted for him—————–That it was the CIA that installed him in Aso Rock—So why should he care about the Nigerians who are dying daily from economic hardship that he imposed on them—?——————————————————————Separation is the answer————not the rule of the Fulanis biko–That is why we call on him to leave the Shiites alone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! to worship their Allah—

    • Omotolaaraujo

      We like Buhari.

      • Burning Spear

        Why wont u like an Unthinking Apish cedrtificate less Fulani President from Mali —who does not know his right from his left————-that the Yorubas can cheat at will?————————–‘ Monkey

        • YOMBO

          Let the spear of this administration keep piercing and burning your heart and that of your paymasters daily till all your looted funds shall be confiscated and retrieved by this govt.

  • Intrepid

    Soldiers everywhere!

  • tony H

    If na boko haram naw, dem go run. Soja don become olopa wen it concern shia..

  • vagabonds in power

    DSS YET AGAIN CAUGHT PANTS DOWN AS JUSTICE LIMAN SPEAKS. THIS LYING GOVERNMENT HAS NO INTEGRITY

    .

    I believe most of the members heard or read about the reported raid in PortHarcourt and my name has been mentioned as the judge in whose house $2m dollars was stashed. Since yesterday this story has been on the headlines and captions on most social media platforms. The truth is that all that you’ve read is more of misinformation and disinformation; substantially untrue account.

    The truth is that we live as neighbors to the DSS,their address is 35 and mine is 33.That night the DSS came to house 34 where they wanted to search but they were refused entry and later Gov. Wike was said to have come and engaged the security outfit in a near physical struggle,as the report suggested.

    I wouldn’t have known of the incidence if my neighbor in house 34 had not called me to inform me of the presence of strange people at her gate .All this while the melee lasted to around 4:00a.m.,I was in my house monitoring the events, and remained indoors until later in the day when I felt it was no longer safe for me to continue to remain.

    However I feel distressed that the DSS indirectly claimed they have evidence I stashed $2m, and when contacted I employed thugs and with Governor Wike to obstruct them from carrying out the search and that I later transferred the money to an unknown place.I do not think I need to refute this allegation because it would only make sense if they had actually targeted my house for the search.The truth is that due to their incompetence they bungled the operation and are desperately searching for alibi to save their heads.Unfortunately I have found myself in the middle of a dirty politics between Wike and the Federal Government and perhaps my notoriety for delivering controversial judgements; because the cases are also controversial and the stakes probably very high.

    • Rommel

      The fight against corruption will continue and we urge that the intensity be increased

    • YOMBO

      Idiotic vagabond, and so shall you remain till Buhari completes his eight years of corruption cleansing and your paymasters will not have any corrupt means of continuing to pay your pay-as-you-post daily allowance again. So shall it be in Jesus Name. Na hunger go kill u till u go comot from this platform when yur allowy jo go fit drop again. We the genuine people of Nigeria are solidly behind this govt against you the minority looters!

  • newday

    The Kaduna state govt acted beyond its powers in banning Shia sect which derives its right to freedom of worship from the Nigerian constitution.

    • YOMBO

      Why not invite Boko Haram to your neighbourhood to come and exercise their right of worship there as well, after all they are Nigerians, and should not be banned. Then, we shall see if your newday will not turn to old-day or sad-day.

  • George

    Who is paying the bills of the movement of the equipment’s and soldiers when there is no food for the masses.

    How could you ban somebody religion just because you aren’t one of them?

    Too bad for Nigerians that yeye Saudi Arabian is controlling Nigeria with their backward stone worship religion.

    • YOMBO

      You will condemn anything! Go ahead and condemn yourself and family first, and wait till IMN metamorphosed into another BH before blinded eyes open to see what destructive octopus they can be.

      • sab

        Now you know they are threats. Now you know that they don’t deserve to live. You killed over 300 of them, injured their leader and locked him up and went on celebration. But in 2012 when two (2) of their members were killed in a confrontation with the army you said Jonathan was killing northerners, he has waged war against the north. Can you now see hypocrisy in the highest order?. You can google this out and read if you are in doubt or pretending.

  • Charles Tope

    Hhmmm. Black man. Jonathan did nothing when Boko Haram started like a child play and we witnessed the result. Thank God for Buhari that God used. Now the Shites are coming out in a manner that is questionable and God is using Mr President to stop future trouble, black man in Nigeria is complaining. No wonder, God doesn’t take permission from men. P

    • wasiu

      You said that Shia are coming in questionable way, What are the questions? Se if any one will be sincere about this issue any Government that is Claiming to be executing the Law out of the law is only behaving as an outlay government and it is unfortunate. If Shia break the law let the state charge them to Court.

  • najabbiri goga

    Shia people dont normally participate in elections but in 2015 they participated and massively voted for APC. It is clear now they voted for heartless and sadistic leaders.

  • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

    When will the megalomaniac pigmy governor of Kaduna state called Rufai understand that Shiites are full citizens of the federal republic of Nigeria and as such their freedom to religious worship and religious assembly is unequivocally enshrined in the constitution. The Kaduna midget governor is engaged in religious cleansing and it is about time Nigerians stood up to resist this evil.

    • suleiman

      Tawanda,
      True, the constitution guarantees freedom of worship. What it does not guarantee is lawlessness, murdering of innocent people who don’t hold the same view with you and bring economic activities to a halt for at least seven days, especially Zaria. The Constitution does not guarantee unlawful processions, disturbance of public peace and order, as well as total disregard to the laws of the country. I recommend you get a copy of the constitution and read. As for the human rights organization in the UK, they should first stop Putin form killing innocent civilians in Syria and the Saudi Coalition assisted by the US from murdering innocent people in Yemen. We it comes to Africa, these human rights organizations are loudest while shrugging their shoulders over what happens in the West and the Middle East. Amnesty International tells all kinds of lies against African governments while turning a blind eye to the human rights abuses in the West, Eastern Europe and the the Middle East. Enough of this hypocrisy! Nigeria has laws binding processions and these laws must be obeyed by all citizens. The IMN members have never claimed they were Nigerian Citizens. Their allegiance is to Iran and Hezbollah of Lebanon which explains why the two countries have been meddling into the affairs of this country.

      • wasiu

        Sulaiman, You are here talking about Law and order of the land. and you should also know that their are stipulation for taking the people that violate the law to book. If the government think it is punishing a perceived offender without going though the legal stipulation, that mean the Government is itself an outlaw. What I am saying is that If the Shia or IMN commit an offence they should be charged to court and if the law is not capable to handle the offence that means they break no law. You talk about the law banning public procession. what do you think about the procedure for sunni Muslim member of the Society gathering for Jumat service or Eid prayer, are they going to require obtaining police order.? or if Christian members of the society are to have convention what is the requirement for them. Shia or no Shia our society is not supposed to discriminate against any person.

      • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

        Your narrative is simplistic and misleading. The Shiites processions is part of their worship requirements all over the world, they atimes march during rituals but I disagree with you on violence, they do not kill Nigerians, the Sunni wahabist indoctrinated terrorists do 99% of the killings accredited to Islamic terrorism. The Shiite have a right to associate with Iran just like the Sunni associates with the Saudis, the Catholics with the Vatican, Anglicans with England and evangelicals with the USA.

        There is a clear plot to exterminate and cleanse the northern sharia states which of course are Sunni dominated off shiites through sustained persecutions . This anti-Shiite project has been put on steroids since Buhari came to office with El-Rufai now assuming the position of persecutor in chief.

        Shiites right to worship is a fundamental human right and the likes of El-Rufai has opened a pandoras box because we may wake up tomorrow to hear that Muslims have been barred in a southern Christian dominated state or vice-versa. The megalomania afflicting this governor need to be curbed, he must be restrained before he puts Nigeria in the crosshares of the 1000 year Sunni-Shiite conflict, do not forget that Nigeria is a Secular democratic constitution and home to more than 90 million Christians.

    • Ismail Ibrahim Bakori

      Eirufai collected millions of dollars from the Saudi Wahabi ruling family to dismantle the Shiate Islamic Movement of Nigeria.